De'Anthony Thomas, former Oregon Ducks RB, released by Baltimore Ravens

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Dylan Mickanen
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De'Anthony Thomas, former Oregon Ducks RB, released by Baltimore Ravens originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

One of the most electric ball carriers in college football history is a free agent.

Former Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas has been released by the Baltimore Ravens, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Thomas had opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns and received a $150,000 salary advance. His one-year contract was set to roll over to 2021 before being released. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent]

Thomas was the primary returner for Baltimore in 2019, returning 13 punts for 93 yards and 10 kickoffs for 166 yards. He signed a one-year, $935,000 deal with the Ravens on March 16, 2020 but was considered a bubble player heading into camp. 

At Oregon, Thomas spent three seasons with the Ducks from 2011-13. He had a breakout season his freshman year climaxing in the 2012 Rose Bowl game, where he racked up 314 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including a 91-yard touchdown run. He elected to leave the Ducks following his true junior year after ranking 8th all-time on Oregon’s list of career rushing touchdown leaders. 

The 5'9" running back was selected 124th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by Kansas City and he was named First Team All-Pro as a rookie in 2014 as a return specialist. He never truly translated beyond being a kick returner in the NFL, however, and was cut by the Chiefs midway through the 2019 season before being picked up by the Ravens.